Quarterback Adrian Martinez completed 15-of-22 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns, JD Spielman returned a punt for 77 yards and a touchdown, and Nebraska built an early lead en route to a 45-9 victory over Bethune-Cookman on Saturday.
A Memorial Stadium crowd of 88,735 saw Nebraska (2-6, 1-4 Big Ten) improve to 12-0 all-time against FCS foes in a make-up game for the season opener against Akron that was cancelled because of severe weather.
Martinez, a true freshman from Fresno, California, increased his season total to 1,656 passing yards, setting a Nebraska freshman record. The previous record was 1,632 yards by Taylor Martinez in 2010.
Nebraska built a 28-3 lead after one quarter and led 38-3 at halftime, its biggest halftime lead since 2012.
“We needed that to happen,” Nebraska coach Scott Frost said of the fast start. “We needed to go out and get the game secured early. I’ve said it a bunch, 12 weeks in a row is a long time, 13 weeks of practice in a row of practice is a long time without any break. It isn’t just the physical, it’s the grind of it. It takes a toll on you emotionally, especially with what these guys have been through this season.”
With Nebraska already ahead 7-0, Spielman returned his punt for a touchdown, the longest punt return by a Husker since De’Mornay Pierson-El returned one 80 yards against Iowa in 2014.
“We blocked everybody on that play,” Frost said. “Our special teams did get better; I think they have been improving. Confused special teams plays probably cost us a couple games this year, and it was good to see us finally get one on special teams. You score on defense or special teams, you’re going to win most games. We haven’t had one yet, so it was good to see us break the ice.”
Senior receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. then caught first-quarter touchdowns of 3 and 27 yards to give Nebraska a comfortable lead. He caught seven passes for 82 yards, all in the first half. It marked the second straight game Morgan has had two touchdown catches, and gives him 20 career touchdown receptions.
Transfer quarterback Noah Vedral, a native of Wahoo, saw his first action of the season beginning in the second half. He had a 20-yard rush for a touchdown and completed two passes for 29 yards.
“It was good seeing him get in the end zone,” Frost said. “I know growing up here, when I was little, that was all I could think about was scoring as a Husker, and it's been kind of a weird path for him to get there, but it was great to see him dive into the end zone at Memorial Stadium.”
Senior running back Devine Ozigbo rushed 11 times for 110 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown to begin the game. Ozigbo did not play in the second half. It marked the fourth time in the past five games Ozigbo has topped 100 yards, and his seventh career 100-yard rushing game.
Punter Isaac Armstrong had a 73-yard punt in the third quarter, tying for the seventh-longest punt in school history. It is the longest punt by a Husker since Alex Henery had a 76-yard punt at Virginia Tech in 2009.
Safety Deontai Williams had two takeaways, recovering a fumble in the second quarter and picking off a BCU pass in the third quarter. Nebraska forced three turnovers, a season high. Senior linebacker Luke Gifford had a sack to increase his season total to 5.5, a team high.
Defensive lineman Peyton Newell had an interception in the second quarter, the first of his career. It was the first interception by a Nebraska defensive lineman since defensive end Randy Gregory, Jason Ankrah and Avery Moss each had an interception in 2013.
Since beginning the season 0-6, the Huskers have won two straight games as they prepare for a Big Ten Conference road game at Ohio State on Saturday.
“Hopefully the last two (wins) means we're going to be more of a confident team,” Frost said. “We've got to go on the road to a tough place to play a very good team. We know what we're in for, we're going to get their best shot.”
Arcadia-Loup City 28, Elm Creek 18
Bloomfield 38, Meridian 14
Burwell 63, Palmer 26
Clearwater-Orchard 54, Brady 20
Creighton 82, Southern 28
Dundy County-Stratton 30, Cambridge 29
EMF (Exeter-Milligan/Friend) 60, East Butler 24
Falls City Sacred Heart 42, Wynot 0
Fullerton 40, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge 34 (OT)
Garden County 50, Medicine Valley 8
Guardian Angels Central Catholic 48, Thayer Central 14
Hartington-Newcastle 62, Clarkson/Leigh 34
Hemingford 60, Arapahoe 14
Howells-Dodge 52, Cross County 12
Humphrey St. Francis 54, Wausa 12
Johnson-Brock 82, Pender 3
Kenesaw 62, Twin Loup 18
Lawrence-Nelson 38, Wauneta-Palisade 8
Lutheran High Northeast 68, Elmwood-Murdock 24
Mullen 47, Paxton 18
Nebraska Christian 76, Ainsworth 40
North Central 60, Neligh-Oakdale 26
Osceola-High Plains 34, BDS 22
Osmond 40, Diller-Odell 30
Overton 42, Giltner 34
Randolph 30, Plainview 20
Riverside 40, Central Valley 0
Sandhills/Thedford 48, Bertrand 26
South Loup (Callaway/Arnold) 38, Ansley-Litchfield 0
Sutherland 40, Amherst 34
Wisner-Pilger 42, Lourdes Central Catholic 6
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The ninth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team topped Ohio State, 3-1 (25-15, 23-25, 25-12, 25-9), on Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 1,185 at St. John Arena.
The Huskers (16-5, 7-4 Big Ten) snapped their three-match skid behind a career-high 16 kills from Lauren Stivrins. The sophomore middle blocker hit .789 on the night with just one error on 19 swings. Four Huskers finished with double-digit kills. Mikaela Foecke had 12 kills, Jazz Sweet had 11 and Lexi Sun had 10. Foecke hit .345 and Sweet hit .391, as the Huskers hit .407, their second-highest mark of the season. Nebraska's 10 attack errors were its fewest in Big Ten play this season.
Nebraska's defense was just as strong, holding Ohio State (12-11, 3-8 Big Ten) to .083 hitting. The Huskers had 10 blocks, led by six from Foecke and five from Callie Schwarzenbach, who also had six kills. NU was blocked only five times and had a 59-43 edge in digs. Kenzie Maloney had 14 digs, while Nicklin Hames had 13 digs to go with 44 assists. Foecke and Sun had 11 and 10 digs, respectively, to finish with double-doubles.
The Big Red finished with seven aces, four of which came from Maloney. Megan Miller had two.
Vanja Bukilic had 11 kills for the Buckeyes. Bia Franklin added 10.
Set 1: Three kills by Sweet and a pair of blocks by Foecke and Stivrins gave the Huskers an early 7-3 lead. Stivrins pounded three kills to help the Huskers double up the Buckeyes at 12-6. A fifth kill by Stivrins and a Buckeye hitting error made it 20-13 Huskers. Foecke, Stivrins and Sun strung together kills at the end to help NU take set one, 25-15. Stivrins had seven kills, and the Huskers hit .481.
Set 2: Ohio State took a 10-6 lead after a 7-1 run. The Huskers trailed 12-7, but Schwarzenbach combined on a pair of blocks and Sun had a kill and a block to pull NU within 13-12. Ohio State clung to its lead until Sun put a kill to the corner to tie the set at 19-19. Sun and Schwarzenbach then stuffed a Buckeye attack for a 20-19 Husker lead. After an OSU timeout, the Buckeyes scored a 3-1 run to go up 22-21 and led 23-22 before Stivrins tied the score with her 11th kill. But Ohio State grabbed set point with a Witte kill and won 25-23 after a Husker hitting error.
Set 3: The Huskers grabbed a 9-3 lead with Maloney serving three aces as part of a 6-0 run. Foecke tallied back-to-back kills, and Miller served an ace to make it 12-4 Big Red. The Huskers maintained at least a seven-point lead the rest of the way and went up 21-11 on kills by Sweet, Stivrins and Foecke. Stivrins surpassed her career high in kills with two more as the Huskers closed out a 25-12 win. NU hit .480 in the set and held the Buckeyes to .061.
Set 4: Nebraska got off to a strong set, taking a 7-1 lead with kills by Schwarzenbach and Sweet and two blocks by Foecke and Schwarzenbach. The Huskers dominated set four, finishing the match with a 25-9 win. The Huskers hit .600 with 12 kills and no errors on 20 swings. Ohio State hit -.037.
Up Next: Nebraska hosts No. 6 Illinois at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Lincoln – The Nebraska football team practiced in full pads and helmets for just under two hours inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Fields on Wednesday, to prepare for Saturday’s game against Bethune-Cookman.
Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters spoke to the media after practice, discussing how the team has balanced getting rest during what was supposed to be a bye week, while also preparing for Bethune-Cookman.
“We’ve tried to balance an off week,” Walters said. “It’s supposed to be a bye week, so we’re making sure we get rest and keep the guys fresh, as well as preparing for Bethune-Cookman, as well as trying to get some recruiting in. We try to balance it all. I think the players have done a great job of responding. It’s been a great week of getting everything accomplished that we want to accomplish. [The energy has] been great.”
Walters also reflected on the Minnesota game last weekend, specifically the success of the wide receivers, including senior Stanley Morgan Jr., who had 10 catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
“I’m proud of him,” Walters said. “He hadn’t had the year he wanted, that we would like him to have, but he’s never hung his head. He’s never strayed from the process and it’s good to see his hard work, his dedication and his commitment be rewarded. Every game here on out, I expect a big game from him.”
Additionally, Walters discussed how he was impressed with the blocking he saw from the wide receivers.
“No block, no rock. Those guys have gotten better,” Walters said. “[Junior wide receiver] Mike Williams - one of the proudest moments I had was when he came down and blocked a safety for [senior running back] Devine [Ozigbo’s] second long run. He blocked him and stayed on him. I’m really proud of those guys. Those long runs are a result of those guys on the perimeter doing their jobs. To me blocking is all about being selfless, being a team guy and a team player. Whenever you have an opportunity to help another teammate, our guys relish that opportunity and cherish it and want to be the block that springs a great run. As an offense, I think we’re playing together. We enjoy playing with one another and whatever we can do to help our teammates out, we’re doing. It’s been great.”
Walters also raved about freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez and his performance against the Golden Gophers. Martinez was 25-of-29 for 276 yards through the air and three touchdowns.
“He’s playing with a lot of confidence and a lot of poise,” Walters said. “[He went a] whole game with four incompletions. I know one was a drop, one could have been a pass interference call, so he played almost a perfect game. As a true freshman, that’s special. It always helps when the offensive lineman are doing their job, protecting him, opening up running lanes. Any time you can run for over 300 yards, it’s going to help a quarterback. We’re getting open on the perimeter, so all of those factors contribute to Adrian having the success he’s having.”
Finally, Walters talked about the improvements of the offensive line.
“They’re playing together, playing as one, coming off the ball, setting a new line of scrimmage and really finishing,” Walters said. “Those guys knew who to block but it was about finishing that guy off and not letting him make a play downfield. Those guys have done a great job. We’re rotating guys in so they’re fresh, but I think the biggest thing was playing together and finishing the blocks up front.”
The Huskers will host the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. and the game will be televised on BTN.
A Mid-Plains Community College cowboy is leading the region in steer wrestling following a strong performance in Iowa over the weekend.
The MPCC Rodeo Team competed at the Iowa State University Cyclone Stampede in Ames, Iowa Friday and Saturday.
Team member JT Bradley, of Brewster, won the steer wrestling - propelling him to the top of the leaderboards in the Great Plains Regional standings. He wrestled his steer in 3.7 seconds. That jumped him up five spots from sixth place, where he was sitting after the first round, to win the average.
“He did a great job, which is just kind of what we expect out of JT,” said Garrett Nokes, MPCC Rodeo Team timed event coach. “He’s got the talent to do that every week. I was expecting big things out of him, and I’m real pleased with where he’s at halfway through the year.”
Bradley also ended up third in the tie-down roping. Clay Bauer, of Arcadia, was second in the tie-down roping and sixth in the team roping alongside JD Draper, of Oakley, Kan. Draper also placed fourth in the steer wrestling.
Sheyenne Hammond, of Valentine, placed second in the breakaway roping, which contributed to MPCC’s third place ranking in the women’s team standings. The men’s team also finished third.
“The team as a whole had a handful of kids do outstanding, and everyone else had a rough weekend,” Nokes said. “Draper and Bauer both made it back to the short round in two events, and they kept us in it. The men’s team ended with a third place finish, but could have won first very easily. Only three out of our six point-scoring guys made it back to the short go.”
All three women on the team qualified for the short round.
“I was really pleased with them,” Nokes said. “Mykelsi [Schnose, of Oelrichs, S.D.] slipped up a little bit in the short round in the barrels, and Danielle [Wray, of Ord] had a rare miss in the team roping. It happens to everyone. Danielle is still sitting third in the regional standings, and I expect her to end up in the top two in the region.”
Despite starting out slow this season, Hammond has had a phenomenal last two rodeos. She also competes in barrel racing and team roping for the college, but breakaway is her strongest event.
“She’s really been stepping up and putting a lot of time and effort into it, and it shows,” Nokes said. “She and Koby [Jacobson, of Haiku, Hawaii] probably could have made it to the short go, but they drew a hard dragging steer, and her horse could hardly pull him. All that aside, she’s got to feel really good about how things are going. It’s fun for me to be a part of.”
The fall rodeos will wrap up with the rescheduled Sisseton Wahpeton College Rodeo in Sisseton, S.D. Nov. 1-2.
NEBRASKA vs BETHUNE-COOKMAN
OCT. 27, 2018 | MEMORIAL STADIUM
LINCOLN, NEB. | 11 A.M. (CT)
TV - BTN (Lisa Byington, Glen Mason, Damon Benning)
RADIO - Husker Sports Network (Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, Ben McLaughlin)
SATELLITE RADIO - Sirius Channel 119, XM 195
INTERNET RADIO - Huskers.com, TuneIn.com
APP AUDIO - Official Huskers App, TuneIn App
Record: 1-6, 1-4 Big Ten
Last Game: def. Minnesota, 53-28
Coach: Scott Frost
Career/NU Record: 20-13 (3rd Year)/1-6 (1st Year)
vs. Bethune-Cookman: 0-0
Record: 4-4, 2-2 Mid-Eastern
Last Game: lost to N.C. A&T, 35-10
Coach: Terry Sims
Career/BCU Record: 24-16 (4th Year)/Same
vs. Nebraska: 0-0
Nebraska takes a one-week break from Big Ten action on Saturday, as the Huskers play host to Bethune-Cookman at Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised on BTN with kickoff shortly after 11 a.m. CT. The contest can also be heard on the IMG Husker Sports Network.
The matchup with Bethune-Cookman was added to the Huskers' 2018 schedule in mid-September, and replaced the original season opener with Akron that was canceled because of severe thunderstorms in Lincoln and the surrounding area.
Nebraska enters the game at 1-6 overall, following a 53-28 victory over Minnesota on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The Husker offense continued to roll in the victory, helping Nebraska to a 28-0 lead in the second quarter. Nebraska rolled up 659 yards of total offense and 383 rushing yards, both season highs and the most productive offensive output for Nebraska since 2014.
Bethune-Cookman will head to Lincoln with a 4-4 record, and is coming off a 35-10 loss to North Carolina A&T on Saturday. The Wildcats opened the season with a 1-3 record, but have since won three of four games. BCU features a productive offensive attack, averaging better than 32 points per game, and has scored at least 28 points in six of its past seven games.
This Week's Numbers
475 - Nebraska has gained at least 475 yards in each of the past four games, including a season-high 659 yards against Minnesota. This marks the first time Nebraska has topped 475 total yards in four straight games since the final three games of the 2007 season and the 2008 opener.
400 - Nebraska freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez has accounted for 400 yards of total offense three times this season, including 401 yards against Minnesota. His three 400-yard total offense games ties Nebraska's career school record, also held by Joe Ganz.
11 - Nebraska will take on an FCS opponent this week for the first time since 2014. The Huskers are 11-0 all-time against opponents from the FCS ranks, and this is their first-ever game against a MEAC opponent.
Nebraska Set to Face FCS Opponent
Nebraska and Bethune-Cookman will meet for the first time in school history on Saturday. The game will also be Nebraska's first-ever against an opponent from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
• Nebraska last faced a Football Championship Subdivision opponent in 2014, when Nebraska defeated McNeese State 31-24 at Memorial Stadium.
• The Huskers are 11-0 all-time against FCS foes (at game time), with each of the games being played between 1992 and 2014.
• Nebraska took on an FCS opponent for five straight seasons from 2010 to 2014, before the Big Ten Conference temporarily did not allow games against FCS foes. The conference has since allowed FCS opponents to be scheduled. Nebraska has future games scheduled with South Dakota State (2020, 2024) and North Dakota (2022, 2026).
Bethune-Cookman Contest Replaces Akron Game
The game against Bethune-Cookman was added to NU's schedule in mid-September. It filled a void on the schedule created when the Huskers’ Sept. 1 game against Akron, which was canceled due to severe storms in Lincoln.
• With the cancellation of Akron and adding Bethune-Cookman in what was originally a bye week, Nebraska is playing 12 consecutive weeks without a bye. The 2018 season will mark the first time in school history Nebraska has played 12 consecutive weeks.
• The Akron game marked the first time in the modern era a Nebraska game was canceled because of weather. It was the first cancellation of any kind for Nebraska since a 1943 game against Pittsburgh was canceled because of wartime travel restrictions.
Offense Hopes to Sustian Strong Momentum
Head Coach Scott Frost and his staff oversaw one of the nation's most potent offenses at UCF in 2017. In the past four games, Frost's Nebraska offense has started to post numbers among the nation's best units.
Nebraska opened the year with 565 yards of total offense against Colorado, and has since posted three additional games with better than 500 yards. Nebraska is coming off a season-high 659 yards against Minnesota, after posting 582 yards against Purdue and 518 yards at No. 16 Wisconsin.
• Nebraska averages 471.7 yards of total offense per game to rank fourth in the Big Ten.
• Nebraska rolled up 659 yards of offense against Minnesota on Saturday. The total offense output was Nebraska's highest since a 787-yard effort against Florida Atlantic in the 2014 season opener.
• The total offense output against Minnesota was Nebraska's largest in a Big Ten Conference game (since 2011). It was NU's highest total offense in a conference game since having 710 yards against Kansas State in 2007.
• Nebraska has gained at least 475 yards in the past four games. It marks the first time NU has topped 475 yards in four straight games since the final three games of 2007 and the 2008 season opener.
• The consecutive 500-yard games against Purdue and Wisconsin marked the first time NU had back-to-back 500-yard outputs in Big Ten games. It was the first time NU had consecutive 500-yard games in conference play since the final two Big 12 games in 2007.
• The 565 yards against Colorado in the opener marked the first 500-yard total offense game for the Huskers since posting 556 yards at Northwestern in 2016. Nebraska has since topped 500 yards three more times in six games.
• The total offense output against Colorado was the best at the time by Nebraska in 35 games, dating back to a 610-yard effort against Southern Miss in 2015. .
Huskers Passing Game Stressing Opposing Defenses
Nebraska has featured a high-powered passing attack over the past four games. The Huskers threw for 323 yards againt Purdue, had a season-high 407 passing yards at Wisconsin before also topping 250 yards at Northwestern and against Minnesota.
• Nebraska's consecutive 300-yard passing games were its first since doing so against Minnesota and Penn State in 2017.
• Quarterback Adrian Martinez has thrown for at least 250 yards in four straight games. That is the first time an NU quarterback has done that since Tommy Armstrong Jr. passed for better than 250 yards in the first four games of 2015.
• The Huskers are averaging 251.9 passing yards per game to rank fifth in the Big Ten.
NU Looks to Find Success in the Running Game
Nebraska has shown the ability to run the ball throughout the season, highlighted by its effort against Minnesota last Saturday. Nebraska rushed for a season-high 383 yards, with a trio of Huskers surpassing the century mark.
• The 383 rushing yards by Nebraska were its most since pounding out 458 yards vs. Illinois in 2014. Nebraska gained 274 yards in the first half alone against Minnesota.
• Devine Ozigbo (152), Adrian Martinez (125) and Maurice Washington (109) each surpassed 100 rushing yards in the game. It marked the fifth time in school history Nebraska has had three or more players rush for 100 yards in the same game. It was the first time NU accomplished that feat since a 2010 victory at Washington.
• Nebraska is averaging 219.9 yards per game to rank fourth in the Big Ten. NU has rushed for at least 180 yards five times in seven games.
• Nebraska has a total of 1,539 rushing yards in seven games in 2018. Last year Nebraska rushed for 1,290 yards in 12 games.
• Nebraska set the tone in the rushing game in the opener, rushing for 329 yards against Colorado. NU had 243 rushing yards in the first half against the Buffs, bettering the Huskers' season high of 2017 (225 yards).• The effort against Colorado marked NU's first 300-yard rushing game since rushing for 310 yards at Northwestern on Sept. 24, 2016.
• Prior to the three 100-yard rushers against Minnesota, Nebraska had a pair of 100-yard rushers against Colorado. That marked the first time Nebraska had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game since a 2014 win over Illinois.
• Nebraska has a total of seven 100-yard rushing games this season, including three by Devine Ozigbo and two by Adrian Martinez.
• Ozigbo has topped 150 yards in three of the past four games. His career-high 170 rushing yards against Purdue were the most by a Husker in a Big Ten game since Ameer Abdullah had 225 rushing yards against Rutgers in 2014.
Record Setting Duo Continues to Shine
In 2017, Stanley Morgan Jr. and JD Spielman combined for 1,816 receiving yards, the highest two-player total in Husker history.
Morgan set an NU record with 986 receiving yards in 2017. Spielman added 830 receiving yards, a total that ranked seventh in school history and was the most ever by a Husker freshman.
The duo is once again helping provide an explosive offense for Nebraska in 2018.
• In seven games in 2018, the duo has combined for 85 receptions for 1,170 yards and 10 touchdowns. Those totals put them ahead of their combined pace in the 2017 season.
Morgan Aimes to Be Nebraska's All-Time Leaving Receiver
After setting a school record with 986 receiving yards in 2017, Stanley Morgan Jr. is challenging to become Nebraska’s all-time leading receiver this fall.
Morgan has 156 career receptions, which ranks fourth on NU’s all-time list. He needs 25 receptions to tie Kenny Bell (181) atop the Husker chart. Morgan has 2,299 career receiving yards to rank fifth on Nebraska’s all-time list. Morgan needs 390 yards to tie Bell (2,689) for the most receiving yards in program history.
The New Orleans native put himself in position to challenge Nebraska’s all-time records thanks to a breakout junior season, when he earned All-Big Ten accolades.
• Morgan is coming off his top game of the 2018 season. He caught a career-high 10 passes for a season-high 163 yards and two touchdowns against Minnesota. The 163 yards tied for the sixth-best single-game effort in school history.
• Morgan helped seal the victory with two second-half touchdowns of 35 and 67 yards against Minnesota. In the game, Morgan became the fourth Husker player to top 150 career receptions.
• Morgan has a streak of 33 consecutive games with a reception, the third-longest streak in Husker history. He has had at least three catches in 18 of the past 19 games.
• Morgan surpassed 2,000 career receiving yards against Purdue and had 93 receiving yards at Wisconsin on a then-career-high tying eight catches.
• Morgan set Nebraska records with 986 receiving yards and five 100-yard receiving games in 2017, while ranking third in school history in touchdown receptions (10) and fifth in catches (61).
• He led the Big Ten and ranked 14th nationally in receiving yards per game (89.6) in 2017.
• Morgan led all Big Ten wide receivers and ranked 16th nationally in touchdown catches with his 10 touchdown grabs. He led the Big Ten with five 100-yard receiving games in 2017.
• Morgan posted 185 receiving yards at No. 13 Penn State, the third-highest total in school history.
The No. 9 Nebraska volleyball team plays its fourth straight road match when it meets Ohio State on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (CT) at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
About the Huskers
• Nebraska enters the match at 15-5 overall and 6-4 in the Big Ten. The Huskers are looking to snap a three-match skid, all losses against top-10 teams on the road, two of which went five sets.
• Nebraska is in the midst of playing six matches against top-10 teams in less than a month. The Huskers just played at No. 9 Penn State, at No. 9 Wisconsin and at No. 3 Minnesota in an eight-day span. After Wednesday’s match at Ohio State, the Huskers will host No. 6 Illinois and No. 4 Penn State in its upcoming matches.
• Saturday’s match against No. 6 Illinois at the Devaney Center will be the Weekend of Champions celebration. The Huskers will honor their 1998 and 2008 Big 12 champion and NCAA Final Four teams.
• Nebraska leads the nation in opponent hitting percentage at .134.
• Nebraska leads the Big Ten and ranks 12th nationally with 1.72 aces per set.
• Nebraska’s 2.73 blocks per set ranks 18th nationally and fourth in the Big Ten.
• Senior co-captain Mikaela Foecke, who has twice been named Big Ten Player of the Week this season, leads the Huskers with 3.65 kills per set and adds 2.52 digs per set and 29 service aces this season. The AVCA second-team All-American is hitting .301 and is the only active player in NCAA Division I with at least 1,000 career kills, 200 career blocks, 500 career digs and 100 career aces.
• Fellow senior captain Kenzie Maloney is averaging 4.03 digs per set to lead the Husker defense.
• Freshman middle blocker Callie Schwarzenbach ranks ninth in the nation and second in the Big Ten with 1.51 blocks per set. Schwarzenbach had 13 blocks in a 3-1 win over New Mexico on Sept. 14, the most in the NCAA in a four-set match this season.
• Since debuting for the Huskers on Sept. 14, Lexi Sun has put up 3.02 kills per set and 2.53 digs per set.
• Freshman setter Nicklin Hames has 14 double-doubles through 20 matches and is averaging 10.00 assists and 3.11 digs per set.
• Sophomore opposite hitter Jazz Sweet is second on the team in total kills and is producing 2.67 kills per set.
• Sophomore middle blocker Lauren Stivrins is averaging 2.00 kills on a team-best .379 hitting percentage to go with 1.03 blocks per set.
• John Cook, Nebraska: 19th year at Nebraska (546-74); 26th year overall (707-147)
• Geoff Carlston, Ohio State: 11th year at Ohio State (220-143); 19th year overall (413-207)
• Nebraska is 13-7 all-time against Ohio State. The Huskers won the only meeting last year, 3-1, on Nov. 17 in Columbus. NU has won two in a row in Columbus after losing three straight in the series from 2014-16.
Scouting Ohio State
• Ohio State is 12-10 overall and 3-7 in the Big Ten.
• The Buckeyes were swept on the road by both Indiana and Purdue last weekend. Ohio State has lost four of its last five matches. Its Big Ten wins are against Michigan State, Rutgers and Penn State.
• Vanja Bukilic leads the team with 3.00 kills per set. Mia Grunze adds 2.70 kills per set, and Lauren Witte averages 2.50 kills per set.
• Ohio State’s hitting percentage this season is .225, which ranks ninth in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are allowing opponents to hit .225, ranking 13th in the Big Ten.
Foecke, Maloney Captain Young Husker Squad
• Seniors Mikaela Foecke and Kenzie Maloney are co-captaining the 2018 Husker squad. Foecke and Maloney are the lone players on the team who have been part of both the 2015 and 2017 NCAA Championship teams, and the duo will look to become the first in program history to appear in four straight final fours and win three national championships.
• Foecke, an outside hitter from West Point, Iowa, was selected the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championship in both 2015 and 2017 after leading the Huskers to their fourth and fifth NCAA titles all-time.
• Foecke became the fourth player in NCAA history to twice be named the MOP - as she also earned the honor in 2015 - and she was the first to earn the honor in non-consecutive years.
• Foecke was named an AVCA second-team All-American and was unanimously selected to the All-Big Ten team and was an AVCA All-North Region pick for the third straight year in 2017.
• Foecke was a unanimous preseason All-Big Ten selection entering her senior season. She had a career-high 25 kills on .351 hitting with 13 digs at Creighton on Sept. 6, earning Big Ten Co-Player of the Week honors for the first of two times this season.
• Foecke leads the Huskers with 3.65 kills per set on .301 hitting with 2.52 digs per set. She ranks eighth on Nebraska’s career kills list with 1,444, which also ranks fourth in the rally scoring era (2001 to present). Her 118 career aces are 10th-most in school history in the rally scoring era.
• Maloney, a libero from Louisville, Kentucky, was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team in 2017 and was a PrepVolleyball.com first-team All-American after serving a school-record 13 aces during the NCAA Tournament.
• In her first season as NU’s libero in 2017, Maloney played all 125 sets and averaged 3.62 digs per set and 0.95 aces per set with season totals of 452 digs and 37 aces, second-most on the team.
• Maloney was named to the preseason All-Big Ten team this year. She is averaging a team-high 4.03 digs per set and had a career-high 25 digs in a win at No. 14 Creighton and at No. 3 Minnesota.
• Maloney became the 11th Husker all-time to reach 1,000 career digs when she did so against Missouri State on Sept. 15. She now has 1,172 career digs, eighth-most in school history.
Stivrins, Sweet Stepping Up in Sophomore Seasons
• After earning All-Big Ten Freshman team honors in 2017, middle blocker Lauren Stivrins and opposite hitter Jazz Sweet are both playing bigger roles as sophomores in the program.
• Stivrins is averaging 2.00 kills per set on a team-best .379 hitting percentage to go with 1.03 blocks per set. She added serving to her repertoire this season and has 17 aces.
• Stivrins finished the 2017 season with 2.07 kills per set on .309 hitting and 1.02 blocks per set while playing all 125 sets. She tallied nine kills on .316 hitting against Florida in the NCAA Championship match and had seven kills and a career-high nine blocks in the NCAA Semifinal vs. Penn State.
• Stivrins picked up her first-career Big Ten Player of the Week honor after becoming the third Husker in school history to post a 1.000 hitting percentage with at least 10 kills when she went 10-for-10 in a sweep of Northwestern on Sept. 28.
• Sweet also played in all 125 sets last season and had 2.22 kills per set on .273 hitting in her first year as a Husker. Sweet posted 12 kills on .375 hitting against Penn State in the NCAA Semifinal.
• This year, Sweet moved into the starting lineup for the Big Red and is third on the team in kills per set at 2.67. Sweet also has 64 blocks this season, third-most on the team behind only the two middles.
Sun Shining for Huskers
• Nebraska added sophomore outside hitter Lexi Sun to its attack in the offseason. The University of Texas transfer was a 2017 first-team All-Big 12 selection and received All-America honorable mention in her freshman season with the Longhorns. A native of Encinitas, California, Sun was the PrepVolleyball.com National Player of the Year, the Gatorade Player of the Year and the All-USA Volleyball Player of the Year as a senior at Santa Fe Christian.
• Sun made her Husker debut on Sept. 14 against New Mexico. She had 13 kills on .346 hitting with five digs, and she followed that the next day with nine kills on .368 hitting with seven digs against Missouri State.
• Sun is playing all six rotations for the Huskers and is averaging 3.02 kills and 2.53 digs per set.
Young Huskers Making Instant Impact
• Eight of the 15 Huskers on the roster are new to the team this season, and five are freshmen.
• Setter Nicklin Hames has started every match and has 14 double-doubles. The Knoxville, Tennessee native is averaging 10.00 assists and 3.11 digs per set. Her 26 service aces are second-most on the team.
• Middle blocker Callie Schwarzenbach has started every match and leads the team in blocks with 1.51 per set.
• Defensive specialist Megan Miller has played in 13 matches and is providing 1.26 digs per set, as well as seven aces from the service line.
• Outside hitter Capri Davis has played in 11 matches and was huge for the Huskers in a 3-2 comeback win at No. 14 Creighton, providing 18 kills.
• Defensive specialist Chen Abramovich made her first collegiate appearance against Wake Forest on Aug. 31.
Smith Makes Return to Huskers
• Senior setter Brooke Smith was part of the Huskers’ 2015 NCAA Championship team and 2016 Big Ten Championship team. She played the 2017 season at Kansas State before transferring back to Nebraska for her senior season this year. Smith was cleared by the NCAA to start playing for the Huskers on Sept. 7 and has played in eight matches, recording six assists and one ace.
Huskers Will Play School-Record 19 Home Matches
• Nebraska will play a school-record 19 regular-season home matches in 2018.
• Nine of the Huskers’ 10 non-conference matches were played at the Devaney Center this season. The only road trip was to Omaha, where NU beat Creighton, 3-2, on Thursday, Sept. 6.
• The 2018 season marked the first time the Huskers didn’t play a non-conference match outside of Nebraska since 2007.
Huskers Aiming for 250th Consecutive Regular-Season Sellout
• Nebraska carries an NCAA women’s record 248 consecutive regular-season sellouts. Should the Huskers continue to sell out, their 250th straight sellout would be on Friday, Nov. 2 against Penn State.
Huskers Ranked No. 9 in AVCA Coaches Poll
• Nebraska is ranked No. 9 in the AVCA Coaches Poll this week.
• The Huskers have been ranked No. 1 in 99 all-time polls, the most in NCAA history.
• The Huskers have been ranked in the top 10 a total of 480 times, which is also the most in NCAA history.
• Nebraska has appeared in all 535 AVCA Coaches Polls since it was established in 1982. Nebraska and Stanford are the only two programs to be ranked in every poll all-time.
Cook Adds to Legacy; Joins AVCA Hall of Fame
• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 19th season as the Nebraska volleyball head coach in 2018. He has led the Huskers to four national championships, eight final fours, 12 conference championships and 16 top-10 final rankings since 2000. Cook has 707 career wins and is one of the all-time winningest coaches in NCAA history.
• Since taking over the program in 2000, Cook has led the Huskers to a nation-leading .881 win percentage in that time (546-74).
• Under Cook, the Huskers have achieved 52 AVCA All-Americans and 19 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, both among the best in the nation. He is a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, earning the prestigious honor in 2000 and 2005, and a seven-time conference coach of the year, including Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2017, his first and second Big Ten honors with the Huskers in their Big Ten era (2011-present).
• Cook was named the AVCA North Region Coach of the Year in 2016, his fifth career regional coaching honor and fourth while at Nebraska.
• Cook is one of only four active coaches - and one of six all-time - to be a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and was honored in 2008 by USA Volleyball, receiving its All-Time Great Coach Award.
• Cook was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2017, joining former Husker volleyball coach Terry Pettit in the hall.
• Cook became the 10th active Division I head coach to reach 700 career wins with the Huskers’ eighth win of the season on Sept. 14 against New Mexico. Cook is one of 27 Division I coaches all-time to have reached the 700-win mark.
• Cook passed former Husker head coach and AVCA Hall of Famer Terry Pettit on the all-time career wins list earlier this season. Pettit finished his career with 694 career wins, which Cook passed on Aug. 31 when Nebraska beat Wake Forest.
Husker Fans Set Attendance Standard Once Again
• Nebraska fans led the nation in attendance for a fifth straight season in 2017, averaging 8,202 fans per match, nearly 2,000 more than any other school.
• In 2016, the Huskers also led the nation with an average attendance of 8,210 fans per match, a new NCAA attendance record.
• In 2013, the Huskers led the nation in attendance (8,175) for the first time since 1992, ending Hawaii’s 21-year reign as the national leader.
• The Huskers repeated as attendance champions in 2014 with 8,083 fans per match, which included a school-record 8,585 fans at the Oct. 3 win against Penn State.
• Nebraska has ranked in the top three nationally in attendance every season since 1990 (27 straight seasons).
Cook’s Coaching Tree Continues to Grow
• Nebraska head coach John Cook’s assistant coaches have a great track record of moving on to become head coaches.
• Following the 2017 season, Husker assistant Tyler Hildebrand was named the Director of Coaching, Beach Volleyball for USA Volleyball in his home state of California.
• After the 2016 season, Nebraska assistants Chris Tamas and Dani Busboom Kelly both accepted high-level Division I head coaching jobs. Busboom Kelly became the head coach at Louisville, while Tamas accepted the head coaching job at Big Ten foe Illinois. Tamas led his Fighting Illini squad to the Sweet 16 in his first year, while Busboom Kelly made the NCAA Tournament with Louisville and was named the AVCA East Region Coach of the Year.
• Seven assistants under Cook have become head coaches following their time on Cook’s Nebraska staff: Craig Skinner (Kentucky), Lee Maes (Virginia), Lizzy Stemke (Georgia), Dan Conners (UC Davis), Dan Meske (Augustana, Associate Head Coach at Louisville), Busboom Kelly and Tamas.
• In the last eight years, five of Cook’s Husker assistants have become head coaches. with her 1.60 blocks per set.
Foecke Named Senior CLASS Award Candidate
• Thirty NCAA women’s volleyball student-athletes, including Nebraska outside hitter Mikaela Foecke, were selected on Oct. 1 as candidates for the 2018 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
• An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
• A native of West Point, Iowa, Foecke carries a 3.649 GPA majoring in animal science and is a two-time NCAA Championship most outstanding player, making her one of only four volleyball players in NCAA history to accomplish that feat. Foecke was an AVCA second-team All-American in 2017 after leading the Huskers to their second NCAA Championship in three years. Foecke has excelled both on and off the court in her four years at Nebraska, as she is a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection and has received Nebraska’s high honors (silver) academic medallion twice.
Nebraska Volleyball Retires Jersey of Sarah Pavan
• Nebraska volleyball retired the jersey of one of the most decorated student-athletes in NCAA history, Sarah Pavan, on Sept. 9 after the Huskers’ win over Iowa State. She became the ninth volleyball player in school history to have her jersey retired. Pavan was also inducted into the Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame that weekend.
• The Kitchener, Ontario native is NU’s all-time leader in kills (2,008) and kills per match (4.56). She is one of five players in NCAA history to be named a four-time first-team AVCA All-American, and she helped lead the Huskers win the 2006 NCAA Championship.
• Pavan was the AVCA National Player of the Year, a three-time Big 12 Player of the Year, a two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American of the Year and the Honda Broderick Cup winner, given to the best female student-athlete in the country. She earned a 4.0 GPA majoring in biochemistry. Pavan went on to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, representing Canada in beach volleyball.
Nebraska's Hannah Whitish was named to the 12-player All-Big Ten Team by the conference coaches when the annual preseason honors were announced on Monday, Oct. 22.
The announcement of the preseason teams marked the tip-off of Big Ten Women's Basketball Media Week (@B1GWBBall) on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Whitish, a 5-9 junior guard from Barneveld, Wis., led Nebraska in scoring (12.6 ppg) and assists (4.7 apg) as a sophomore in 2017-18. She owned a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio as Nebraska's point guard while also ranking among the Big Ten's best three-point shooters. Whitish played a major role in lifting Nebraska to the nation's top turnaround in the win column last season, as the Huskers recorded 14 more victories (21) in 2017-18 than in 2016-17 (7). She captured second-team All-Big Ten accolades at the end of last season while helping Nebraska to the NCAA Tournament.
Whitish was the lone Husker honored by the league in preseason voting of the conference coaches.
The Big Ten Conference does not rank its team's No. 1 through No. 14 in preseason voting, instead the coaches and select media members each choose their projected top-three teams in the league.
Maryland is the preseason pick of the coaches and the media to win the Big Ten, while Iowa was picked No. 2 by both the coaches and media. The league coaches chose Michigan in the No. 3 spot, while the conference media selected Minnesota. Iowa senior center Megan Gustafson, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, was chosen by the coaches to repeat that honor. Gustafson, Maryland's Kaila Charles, Michigan's Hallie Thome and Minnesota's Kenisha Bell were all unanimous preseason all-conference selections by the coaches.
2018-19 COACHES PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM*
Hannah Whitish, Jr., G, Nebraska
Alex Wittinger, Sr., F, Illinois
Kathleen Doyle, Jr., G, Iowa
Megan Gustafson, Sr., F, Iowa
Kaila Charles, Jr., G, Maryland
Hallie Thome, Sr., C, Michigan
Shay Colley, Jr., G, Michigan State
Kenisha Bell, Sr., G, Minnesota
Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah, Sr., F, Northwestern
Teniya Page, Sr., G, Penn State
Ae’Rianna Harris, Jr., F, Purdue
Dominique Oden, Jr., G, Purdue
Whitish and the Huskers will hit the court for the first time together at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Tuesday night for a free Open Practice. Doors at the arena open at 6:45 p.m., and the practice is expected to last until approximately 8 p.m. Autograph opportunities will follow the practice.
Season tickets for Nebraska women's basketball are on sale now at Huskers.com.
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez was honored Monday as co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week. Martinez shined in Nebraska’s 53-28 victory over Minnesota, leading a Nebraska offense that put together its highest point total ever in a Big Ten Conference game. Martinez shared the honor with Purdue freshman receiver Rondale Moore.
Martinez completed 25-of-29 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for another 125 yards and a touchdown. Martinez’s 401 yards of total offense marked his third 400-yard total offense effort in the past four weeks and he has already tied the Nebraska career record for 400-yard games.
In the passing game, Martinez’s 25-of-29 effort against the Gophers set a Nebraska record for best completion percentage in a game with a minimum of 20 attempts. The previous record was held by Dave Humm and stood for 44 years. The 86.2 percent completion percentage was also the best in the country this season for any quarterback with more than 25 pass attempts.
Martinez’s effort paced Nebraska to 659 yards of total offense, the Huskers’ most since the 2014 season opener against Florida Atlantic. It was Nebraska’s highest total offense output in a Big Ten Conference game and its most in any conference game since 2007 against Kansas State.
In addition to his Big Ten honor, Martinez was also honored by the College Football Performance Awards as the CFPA Co-National Performer of the Week.